Master of Veterinary Studies

Course MC-VETSTDR (2014)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2014.

Year and Campus: 2014 -
Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Level: Graduate/Postgraduate
Duration & Credit Points: 150 credit points taken over 36 months part time.


Professor Ted Whittem


Faculty of Veterinary Science
The University of Melbourne
Victoria 3010 Australia

Course Overview:

The Master of Veterinary Studies, or MVS, is a higher degree by coursework which provides students with advanced clinical training in a specialised area of veterinary science. The MVS course runs parallel with training for the Fellowship of the Australian and New Zealand College of Veterinary Scientists (FANZCVS), or other equivalent American or European Colleges. The MVS provides invaluable preparation for the FANZCVS certifying examinations.

Students must enrol in this course on a part-time basis. Students enrolled in the Master of Veterinary Studies may enrol concurrently in the Master of Veterinary Science (Clinical) (by research) as part of the residency training program.

The MVS provides advanced clinical training under the mentorship of registered specialists in each discipline and is based on supervised management of clinical cases in a selected field of veterinary clinical science, attendance and participation in clinical rounds, seminars, journal club and post-mortem presentations. Staff who are members of the American, Australian and European specialty Colleges of Internal Medicine, Surgery, Neurology, Diagnostic Imaging, Clinical Pathology, Anaesthesiology, Equine Medicine, Equine Surgery and Clinical Pharmacology contribute to the training for each student.

Learning Outcomes:

This course has as its objectives that graduates:

  • have achieved a breadth and depth of knowledge in a particular discipline or set of related disciplines within veterinary science;
  • have attained an advanced level of appropriate diagnostic, therapeutic and technical (including instrumentation) skills;
  • have developed preliminary research skills, including the ability to search and critically review literature, and other relevant data bases, define questions/hypotheses, design and execute experimental studies, analyse and interpret results and to write reports/papers;
  • can be effective in scientific communication at the professional and community levels, through both the spoken and written medium;
  • have developed interpersonal and organisation skills towards leadership within the profession and the community; and
  • are able to pass examinations by the relevant certifying boards of the Veterinary professional bodies.
Course Structure & Available Subjects:

Students will enrol in this course on a part-time basis for a total of 50 points each year and must pass both subjects each year in order to progress in the course.

The Master of Veterinary Studies comprises six subjects: Advanced Clinical Skills 1, 2, and 3, and Principles of Medicine & Surgery 1, 2, and 3. Students enrol in Advanced Clinical Skills and Principles of Medicine & Surgery in each semester of each year of the residency program and are assessed at the end of each subject.

Most students enrolled in this course will be enrolled through the Residency Training Program.

Subject Options:

All students will enrol in the following subjects:

First Year

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:

Second Year

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:

Third Year

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Entry Requirements:

A BVSc (usually honours level) or recognised equivalent qualification. All students should be aware of the University’s English language requirements.

Students must be registered veterinary practitioners with the Veterinary Practitioners Registration Board of Victoria.

Core Participation Requirements:

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student’s participation in the University’s programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this course are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and the Disability Liaison Unit.

Graduate Attributes: None
Links to further information:


The evaluation period for progression in the Master of Veterinary Studies is one semester (for full-time candidates) or one year (for part time-candidates).
A candidate may progress to each subsequent evaluation period upon successful completion of all components of each subject.

1. Hurdle components

Candidates whose attendance falls below the hurdle requirement will be counselled by their supervisor. If after counselling the candidate fails to remedy the attendance deficit within one evaluation period the candidate may be terminated.

2. Assessed components

Candidates will have failed a subject, either Principles of Medicine and Surgery (PMS) or Advanced Clinical Skills (ACS) if he or she achieves in any one evaluation period an average mark for all assessed components of the subject of less than 50%

3. Repeating an evaluation period

Candidates will not be permitted to repeat a semester (full time) or year (part time).

4. Unsatisfactory Progress and Termination of Enrolment

Candidates whose progress in the course is not satisfactory may have their candidature terminated in accordance with Statue 11.4 – Unsatisfactory Progress and the Academic Progress Review Procedure.

A candidate will have made unsatisfactory progress if he or she:

a. fails to meet the hurdle requirements in any two evaluation periods;

b. fails to submit the Major Work for (ACS) prior to the end of the appropriate ACS unit;

c. fails any subject;

d. falls below a 70% average across assessed components of the subjects PMS and ACS in each evaluation period for any two consecutive evaluation periods.

5. The Course Unsatisfactory Progress Committee

The Residency Training Committee will report unsatisfactory student progress to the Master of Veterinary Studies Course Unsatisfactory Progress Committee, which will comprise the dean of the appropriate faculty or the dean’s nominee (chair), two members of the full-time academic staff of the rank of senior lecturer or above with expertise relevant to the course; and where deemed appropriate by the chair of the progress committee, a senior member of the professional staff.

The Course Unsatisfactory Progress Committee will convene after the examination period to review the progress of any student who has made unsatisfactory progress. Students in this category will be invited to make an oral and/or written submission to the Course Unsatisfactory Progress Committee.

The Course Unsatisfactory Progress Committee is authorised to make decisions on behalf of the Faculty with regard to the progress of individual students, including termination of enrolment, and to vary the Standing Rules for an individual student if it deems that progression of a student can be facilitated without adversely affecting academic standards.

Download PDF version.